Are you looking for a perfect place for a retreat outside the City? If yes, then Khutse Game Reserve is where you have to make your next weekend getaway trip. Khutse is a local Sekwena word meaning “where one kneels to drink” and is relatively accessible to the Capital-Gaborone much as it is still remote and receives few tourists especially from Sunday to Thursday.
With only 240 kilometers drive through several remote Kalahari villages, visitors can be led to this perfect getaway to the Kalahari. Established in 1971, the Game Reserve was the second Reserve in Botswana to be gazetted on the tribal land (the Moremi Game Reserve within the Okavango Delta was the first), and is adjacent to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to the north and with no fences separating the two Protected Area, the entire 2500 square kilometers combines the majority of the vegetation types (grassed and bare pans, river beds, rolling grasslands and fossil dunes) found in a typical Kalahari habitat. The Reserve is also characterized by a number of spectacular pans where wildlife species normally gather, especially during and after heavy rains and interestingly, game viewing is mainly conducted around the Pans that include Molose, Motailane and Moreswa.
At times water is pumped into the artificial waterholes within Molose and Moreswa thus making such spots ideal for game viewing all year round. Khutse Game Reserve is part of the ancient River system that once flowed north-east wards to fill the pre-historic Lake Makgadikgadi while the pans of Khutse and dry river valleys are remnants of the river system.
Wildlife species within Khutse Game Reserve
Several wildlife species are usually sighted within Khutse Game Reserve and they include greater and lesser kudus, duikers, African wild dogs, the Transvaal lions, Springbok, black-backed jackals, the endangered brown hyenas, Gemsbok, Hartebeests, African leopards, African giraffes, South African cheetahs, Wildebeests, wild cars and Steenbok among others.
Tourist Activities within Khutse Game Reserve
- Game drives
Game viewing is the number one activity to enjoy within the Game Reserve with the best viewing spots being the pans like Molose, Motailane and Moreswa where hundreds of animals including hartebeests, kudus, duikers, Gemsbok, giraffes and Springbok usually congregate during and after the heavy rains. There are several game tracks worth driving through this Reserve and the shorter drive is the northern track around Mohurusile and Sekhushwe pans, about 24 kilometers from the headquarters of the Reserve while the longer track leads to Moreswa pan that is about 64 kilometers from the headquarters.
- Cultural tours
Khutse Game Reserve is surrounded by the San and Bakgalagadi people, the original inhabitants of the area who live in small villages. Tourists to the site can explore their traditional houses, interact with the people and even buy some of their crafts. Village walks with the San can be arranged at Khutse Kalahari Lodge, approximately 10 kilometers before the entrance of the Reserve.
Conclusively, tourists looking forward to enjoying weekend getaways from the busy Gaborone City of Botswana can visit the nearby Khutse Game Reserve where animals such as lions, giraffes, African elephants, Gemsbok and kudus can be spotted and activities such as game drives and cultural tours enjoyed.